Ugh. Holding the Saturday Saratoga past performances in my hands made me glad I'm not driving three hundred miles today to see this. If it was a Wednesday or a Thursday this card would be tolerable, but a Saturday? If this is the side effect of extending the meet, then shrink it back down and start it the following Wednesday again. OK, enough whining, as horseplayers the one thing we do have is options and if I was betting real money I'd exercise my right to find a different card and a different sequence of races to bet on as this one neither thrills me nor gives me the feeling I can beat it with any sense of value in return. About the only thing that could make this card look any worse to me would be rain and races off the turf. Check the track conditions, the scratches and the weather before ever proceeding too far. I'm excited about tomorrow's card at Woodbine and I'm also excited when I think this is the last ugh Saturday of the meet at Saratoga so let's muddle through this and in the process I'll show you how I make the donuts when I'm trying to have a low risk/decent reward bet. Let's go!
Saratoga Race 9-10-11 Late Pick Three
Savvy handicappers I shelp around with tell me I shouldn't waste my time on the Saturday Pick Three when there is a tasty Pick Four to hunt at the same time. They are right but here at The Turk I cherry pick sequences I think I can win because hey, who the hell wants to read about my losing bets. As it is, this is a tough series of turf races, with the Grade I featuring a rather bland collection of fairly even horses and its sandwiched by two New York State restricted grass events with equally tough fields. As a horseplayer, that's an important mind set for all of us, don't play, especially chalk, if you don't think you at least have a reasonable chance of winning. There is always another track if you feel like you need to play.
I'm looking horizontally and vertically in this Pick Three with my goal being to construct a Pick Three for less than $20 and a Superfecta Ticket in the Sword Dancer for less than $30 dollars for a total layout of $50; Based on my choices being semi chalky, the return if I do everything right will be low $100's for both bets so the risk/reward is acceptable.
After reviewing the Pick Three I decided that I'd keep the bet even lower in the risk category by singling Expansion in the Sword Dancer. I give him a 40% chance to win and with a Pick Three of $12, I can live with the risk. Over-covering, or better yet, over selecting win choices in a vertical sequence is a mortal sin I strongly urge you to avoid. You will lose plenty of bets and kick yourself because the last toss you made won, but over the long haul you are better off. Personal choice I reckon and I won't preach. The first race I thought was the hardest and my first cut included eight horses. That's why they call it gambling.
And as far as the horizontal bet within the sequence, I'm thinking $1 Superfecta that will cost $29 but I also built a 10 Cent, $13 bet as well.
It's a 1 1/2 mile marathon of a race, and some of these runners will be advancing at the end and some will be shortening their strides and gutting for the wire. Taking a stand on the pace and then taking a shot at who will be coming and who will be going is always tricky, and I still believe the last good horse to make the best last move will win. I'm intrigued by Grassy and I'm wondering if this is the race. I'm also wondering what Al Khali will do against genuine Grade I horse flesh and what Telling still has in the tank.
I like this race alot as a betting race, and as I type I think a good price can possibly rising up to win. Hey, I'm just like you folks, I can be fickle at times. That fickleness tells me I'm right in not wagering much money, if any, on this card. Perhap's I'll invest my Pick Three money on a few win bets of my B-C horses with odds of >8-1. That's a defensive bet technique that has saved many a bad days.
Even on a down Sartaoga card day there are angles to play and fun to be had. Friends, have fun. Turk Out!